Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
09-07: How can Pastoral Systems Keep up with Changing Conditions?
Thursday, 22/Mar/2018:
8:30am - 10:00am

Session Chair: Fiona Flintan, International Livestock Research Institute, Ethiopia
Location: MC 7-100


Land and resource governance in pastoralist systems: It’s not all about boundaries and property rights

Lance W. Robinson1, Enoch Ontiri1, Stephen S. Moiko2, Tsegaye Alemu3, Nizam Husen Abdu1

1International Livestock Research Institute, Kenya; 2ADIS-University of Nairobi; 3College of Development Studies, Department of Environment and Development, Addis Ababa University

Interventions aimed at strengthening local governance and communal tenure for pastoralist communities, influenced by mainstream thinking on property rights and natural resource commons, often result in a reduction in the flexibility inherent in pastoralist resource management systems. This paper explores this challenge, bringing together four case studies from the drylands of Kenya and Ethiopia. All four involved external actors supporting communities using a participatory approach and strengthening governance over a well-defined territory. In all four, the primary challenges to effective governance related not to internal dynamics but rather to how governance and management are affected by communities, organizations, and institutions from beyond the landscape. Effective governance of rangelands cannot simply be a larger replication of local level common property regimes. Instead, fluidity, negotiation and overlapping rights are likely to be key features of effective landscape governance arrangements for pastoralists.


The Strategic Use of Private Property: Investigating the Tenure-Use Gap in Kenya's Rangelands

Christopher Wade1, Jon D. Unruh2

1International Organization for Migration (IOM-The UN Migration Agency); 2McGill University, Department of Geography

The situations observed in Kenya’s rangelands support a pluralistic notion of property systems characterized by “adaptation” as opposed to replacement. Insights from East Africa’s rangelands challenge widely held assumptions about the suitability of private property for all ecological and social contexts. Large-scale land subdivision in Kenya’s rangelands has resulted in unanticipated outcomes that challenge received wisdom in the field of property rights. In some cases, the introduction of private property has created disconnects between land tenure and land use. The evidence presented in this paper contests the notion that private property is exclusively the most effective form of land tenure. Rather than securing user rights and clarifying property rights claims, the application of private property can unhinge tenure from land use with the result that private property returns to communal use. In situations where property systems merge with one other, or are amalgamated by claimants, hybrid forms of property emerge.


Formalizing Pastoral Land Rights in Ethiopia: A Breakthrough in Oromia National Regional State

Solomon Bekure Woldegiorgis1, Tigistu Gebremeskel2, Abebe Mulatu1, Alehegne Dagnew1, Zemen Haddis3, Dejene Negassa Debsu1

1TetraTech ARD, Ethiopia; 2Ministry of Agriculture, Ethiopia; 3USAID Ethiopia/Mission

Rangeland ecosystems in Ethiopia, occupied and used by pastoralists, are under threat from several quarters. Ethiopian Pastoralists have been requesting the federal and regional state governments to secure their communal land use rights granted to them under the Federal and regional constitutions, so that they will be able to legally prevent encroachment and appropriation of pastoral land for other uses without their consent. Several obstacles arose that needed resolving before pastoral landholding rights could be formalized. These include lack of appropriate legislation for formalization, reluctance of local administrators to cede use and control of land to pastoralists, averseness of government officers to register large landscape to a group of pastoralists, and unwillingness to empower customary institutions to administer and manage pastoral landholdings. It took almost three years of negotiations with the governments of Oromia NRS before agreement was obtained and field work could start to adjudicate, demarcate, map and register pastoral communal landholdings.